Friday, June 21, 2024

Dems Must Nominate Candidate by Virtual Roll Call to Meet Ohio Ballot Deadline

'Joe Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio... and Ohio Republicans agree. But when the time has come for action, they have failed to act every time, so Democrats will land this plane on our own...'

(Headline USA) The candidate who will appear on the ballot for Democrats in the 2024 presidential race must be formally approved before the pomp and circumstances of the Democratic National Convention due to Ohio’s Aug. 7 deadline.

That candidate will be formally nominated as the Democratic presidential nominee through a virtual roll call ahead of the party’s official convention in Chicago in August—a maneuver that necessary in order for the nominee to appear on the November ballot in Ohio.

The decision puts added pressure on party leaders to decide whether or not they will attempt to oust President Joe Biden. Although Biden has the total number of pledged delegates thus far, there is a growing murmur that he will be forced out due to his waning popularity even within the party, as well as his deteriorating mental and physical health.

Leftists who believe that former President Donald Trump truly poses an existential threat that would spell the end of democracy—as they have suggested through their rhetoric and campaign messaging—will almost certainly not want to leave such high stakes in the hands of the 81-year-old, gaffe-prone president.

Some suspect that a June debate between Biden and Trump—the earliest on record—will give Democrats a final opportunity to decide whether he is capable of staying in the 2020 rematch.

Even if they do nominate Biden, however, they could force him out after the fact, which would empower leaders in the Democratic National Committee to select someone behind closed doors, with no public input and no nominating process, according to the DNC rules.

The convention where the president would otherwise be formally nominated, is scheduled for Aug. 19-22, which would put the nomination roughly two weeks after Ohio’s ballot deadline.

Ohio lawmakers have moved the deadline in the past for candidates of both parties, although they had not done so yet for Biden this year and were called to a rare special session by Gov. Mike DeWine to address the issue.

The virtual proceedings—ostensibly allowing Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to get the party’s formal nod—would be very similar to the process used in 2020, when the convention went virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Chicago, Democrats will still hold a state-by-state roll call that is a fixture of nominating conventions, according to a DNC official, although it would largely be ceremonial and it’s unclear how that in-person roll call would commence.

The DNC on Tuesday did not say when the virtual roll call will take place, but it is expected in the weeks after the committee’s rules and bylaws committee votes to propose changes to the roll call process. That committee vote is scheduled for June 4.

“Joe Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio and all 50 states, and Ohio Republicans agree. But when the time has come for action, they have failed to act every time, so Democrats will land this plane on our own,” Jaime Harrison, the DNC chairman, said in a statement.

“Through a virtual roll call, we will ensure that Republicans can’t chip away at our democracy through incompetence or partisan tricks and that Ohioans can exercise their right to vote for the presidential candidate of their choice,” he continued.

Democrats in at least three states attempted to use a spurious lawfare attack, relying on an archaic interpretation of the 14th Amendment’s so-called insurrection clause, to kick Trump off the ballot, although that effort ultimately was overturned unanimously by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Nonetheless, it left some red states feeling little goodwill toward the opposing party, where few spoke up in protest of the outlandish abuse of the legal system.

The DNC’s decision to hold its convention so late also contributed to the party’s woes, despite the fact that it knew—or should have known—that it would be extending beyond some states’ legal deadlines.

Nonetheless, Ohio lawmakers gathered Tuesday for the special session.

Negotiations between the House and Senate on a solution to Biden’s ballot conundrum began Friday. State Rep. Bill Seitz told reporters during a conference call that he and state Sen. Rob McColley, both Republicans, were leading the talks, with no resolution announced as of Tuesday.

Since Ohio changed its certification deadline from 60 to 90 days ahead of its general election, state lawmakers have had to adjust the requirement twice, in 2012 and 2020, to accommodate candidates of both leading parties. Each change was only temporary.

The Senate sent its version of the ballot fix to the House after attaching a prohibition on foreign nationals donating to Ohio ballot campaigns, stopping it in its tracks.

DeWine urged legislators to pass the combination measure during the special session, but Democrats have balked, saying the proposal goes beyond the foreign nationals ban to add requirements intended to make it more difficult to mount future ballot campaigns in the state.

A “clean” House bill containing only the adjustment to Ohio’s ballot deadline may also be considered.

Due to differing interpretations of the proclamation DeWine issued Thursday, the Ohio Senate scheduled a single day of activity for Tuesday, while the Ohio House plans to begin with two days of committee hearings before taking its vote Thursday.

A Senate spokesman has said it’s possible the upper chamber can convene Tuesday and then recess to wait for the House.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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